Accidents Happen (Or, How I Had 4 Kids)

Filed under: Opinions

When people ask me if I always wanted four kids, I laugh. I didn't even want to have one, let alone four.

It wasn't because I didn't like kids. I spent the large portion of my days with other peoples' kids.

Come to think of it, that's probably why I didn't want any.

Really, I just told myself I'd probably never be able to have kids, and that I'd be a terrible parent to mask my belief that I wasn't good enough to deserve my own children. I'd remind myself that being raised in a damaged home somehow made me damaged, and as a damaged parent, I'd only damage my kids.

I couldn't be responsible for their bankruptcy-by-therapy. I was doing the world a favor!

So I gushed about how much I loved my job! And my freedom! DINKS 4-EVER!

And then I got pregnant.

It was "a birth control malfunction!!!" I told my religious mother, with a feigned excitement, hoping she'd be so distracted by the Lord's providence that she wouldn't damn me to Hell for my out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

It wasn't completely untrue. I mean, I had been taking the pill. At one point in time ... that I couldn't really remember.

But secretly I was thrilled. And relieved. Perhaps I'd done some good in my life to deserve this baby.

Then she was born and I wondered what hell I had caused to deserve this baby.

Mothering was as natural and as attractive on me as tattooed eyebrows. I struggled for the first 18 months of my daughter's life, trying to figure out what I had gotten myself into and why anyone would actually choose to do this.

And then choose to do it over and over and over again.

I guess that why it's good all my kids were surprises, though people like to chastise me for saying so.

But they were. All of them. Or as surprising as a baby can be when you're having semi-protected sex.

I can't quite understand what bothers people so much about someone having four unplanned kids. Maybe it's because life is so scheduled these days. We get married. Buy a house. Then decide "to start trying" as if there was some sort of life checklist we need to follow.

I'm waiting for someone to start selling "We're trying to have a baby" announcements.

Then we find out the gender of our baby as soon as possible so we can pick his wardrobe and decorate his room in the appropriate, gender-specific colors.

How will our baby survive without clothes in his closet before he is born and a completely finished nursery that he probably won't sleep in until he's at least 6 months old anyway?

We take tours of the best preschools in our town even before he can walk because if he doesn't get into that preschool then he won't get into that elementary school and high school and then Harvard, oh my!

Since when was "spontaneous" and "unplanned" deleted from our vernacular?

With each child it's gotten easier, though I'm far from being a super mom.

But I love all my kids with all of my being.

Unfortunately, all that love doesn't help me remember to get two dozen eggs at the grocery store and ensure that I have the best system for dealing with the daily loads of laundry that taunt me.

And it doesn't keep me from yelling at my kids and then subsequently apologizing more than I'd like to admit.

But if my kids weren't surprises, then I'm not sure I would have had them at all. Sometimes the universe knows better than we do.

Accidents happen. Condoms break.

And for that I'm thankful. Four times over.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.